Rhodri Marsden: Haircuts, a range of idiots, and why I miss Phil the barber

Life on Marsden

Share
Related Topics

As time hurtles forwards and my hairline does the opposite, I need to get my hair cut far more often in order to stop me looking like a troubled scientist emerging from months of experiments in an underground laboratory.

That's the lot of the balding man, and, as a result, we tend to strike up closer relationships with barbers than hirsute men simply because we're there more often. Barbers like us. We give them no trouble. We sit there for five minutes, they make us look marginally less appalling, we give them six quid.

But since moving to a new area, I'm having trouble finding a barber as reliably entertaining as my old one, a Greek Cypriot called Phil. His deferential politeness to all his customers stood in stark contrast to his foul-mouthed hostility towards them once they'd left the premises.

"Stupifucki-idiot", he would mutter whenever the door closed behind someone. He probably referred to all of us as stupifucki-idiots, but this duplicity was so delightful that I forgave him.

Once, someone wandered in and started idly leafing through The Sun. "Hello my friend, how are you?" said Phil, warmly. After a couple of minutes, the guy changed his mind about a haircut and walked to the door. "Phil, before I go," he said. "Yes, what would that be, my friend?" replied Phil. "They're going to have to tell us the truth, aren't they, on the television? They've got to! Anyway, cheerio." "Goodbye, sir!" called Phil, gaily. The door shut. "Stupifucki-idiot," said Phil.

I felt slightly emotional during my final haircut and my final experience of a stupifucki-idiot, a chap who asked Phil endless questions about his forthcoming holiday to Cyprus.

"Phil, when I'm there, what kind of things can I drink?" he asked. "Well, sir," Phil replied, "that depends on what kind of thing you like!" A pointless conversation about liquids ensued. As soon as the guy had left, Phil sniffed. "Stupifucki-idiot," he said. "Mm," I concurred, keen to leave Phil with a good impression of me. I didn't want to leave and be branded a stupifucki-idiot for evermore. "What a stupid fucking idiot," I said, assertively. "You're right there, sir," beamed Phil, as he handed me the standard post-haircut tissue, which I always throw away because I never know what I'm supposed to do with it.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

£35-45K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer / Web ...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Manager - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Commercial Manager is required to join a lea...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Property Manager

£18000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first ...

Recruitment Genius: .NET Web / Software Developer - ASP.NET

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Small and agile digital marketi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Hollywood: Stop trying to make Superman cool. The world needs a boy scout in blue

Matthew Daly
A man enjoys the  

If you really want to legalise cannabis, then why on earth would you go and get high in a park?

Peter Reynolds
Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders